Training your Dog to Come When Called
The recall is one of the most important commands that you can teach your dog. It comes in extremely handy in a number of different situations including when you take your dog out to the park, within the home and when you are around strangers. So if you are having trouble teaching the command then it may be worth taking your dog to an obedience class.
How an Obedience Class Teaches the Recall
Usually the trainers will instruct the group to stand in a circle. You will then be taught the recall from both the center of the circle and from the outside of the circle.
When teaching within the center of the circle, the instructor will ask you to get your dog to sit whilst in the heeling position. You will then have to give your dog the stay command and face them whilst stepping back to the end of the leash. You will find it easier if you watch your stance and have your feet spaced wide apart whilst you stand up straight. This will help you to stop the dog from running straight past you when called. Once you are sure that your stance is correct, call your dog to you and as they come closer make sure that you gather the lead into you and give them the sit command when they reach you. As soon as they do what they are told, praise them enthusiastically and then tell them to stay once more whilst you move back to the end of the lead.
This is now where you train out of the circle. So you are stood further back from the original circle and again you tell your dog to come to you. Gathering the lead up once more as they approach you, tell them to sit and then immediately praise them once more as they do the right thing. Always remember to keep your voice as happy and as excited as possible when calling your dog to you. Your power is your voice and your dog will only come to you if they think they will benefit from it.
So what is you dog does not come when called? Well if they do not listen then all you have to do is give a quick sharp tug on the lead and they should start moving! It should only be a quick tug however as a constant pull on the lead will cause the dog to resist you. As soon as you correct them again make your voice happy so that they want to come to you. That is the easiest way to make them realize that you are not going to hurt them and that by going to you they will get a lot of praise.
The next step is to get your dogs into the heeling position and give the stay command whilst you once again go to the end of the lead. Go back to the dog by circling back around to where they are sitting until you are back in heeling position. This is done because it is always better to alternate training and the recall goes well with the sit/stay exercise. By doing it this way your dog will need to pay attention to you as they will not know which command is coming next.
Overall the important thing to remember is your body posture and the tone of your voice. Make sure that you sound enthusiastic and that your dog wants to come to you. Also keep your posture straight, that way your dog will know that you are serious. Whilst you are training the dog in the obedience class, the instructor will be watching that the commands are used properly and that your body language is also used correctly. They will constantly remind you that you have to keep your feet apart to stop the dog from running directly past you. Also never forget to praise the dog when they do something right. If you remember all of this then you will easily teach your dog to come to you and your trainer will be impressed.
Written by Maria Lee of Oh My Dog Supplies - the top place to shop for raised dog bowls online
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